oxford scientists develop 30-minute-result test for coronavirus

oxford scientists develop 30-minute-result test for coronavirus

scientists at the university of oxford’s engineering science department and the oxford suzhou centre for advanced research (OSCAR) have developed a fast testing technology for CoVID-19. the new test doesn’t need a complicated instrument and is able to give results in just half an hour — over three times faster than the current method.


‘the beauty of this new test lies in the design of the viral detection that can specifically recognise SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RNA and RNA fragments,’ comments professor wei huang. ‘the test has built-in checks to prevent false positives or negatives and the results have been highly accurate.’


the new technology is very sensitive, meaning that patients in early stages of infection may be identified sooner, potentially aiding to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. the test only requires a simple heat-block which maintains a constant temperature for RNA reserve transcription and DNA amplification, and allows the result to be read just with the naked eye, without the use of other instruments.


the test has been validated with real clinical samples at shenzhen luohou people’s hospital in china. there, the rapid detection kit was used on 16 clinic samples — 8 positive and 8 negative — which were later on confirmed by the conventional testing method. oxford scientists are now working on developing an integrated device so that the test can be used at clinics, airports and even homes.


‘I am proud of our team that have developed a useful technology and can make a contribution in combating CoV-19, and we are very grateful to the hospital’s medical team led by dr xizhou sun, dr xiuming zhang and dr dan xiong for their part in testing this new technology,’ concludes prof zhanfeng cui, OSCAR director.

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